Saigon aka HoChiMin City
Saigon consisted of many things in just a short 4 days and 3 nights.
I had a celebrity sighting of Jillian Michaels (personal trainer on the tv show the biggest looser).
I attempted to chop open my first coconut after drinking it dry. I failed miserably!
James Dee and I found this great bakery called Tous les Jours (I think it means everyday in French) that we frequented a few times while staying in Saigon. Our favorite item there was the egg tart, a Portugal treat that was under a $1.
We watched another set of UFC fights at a sports bar which ironically is how we started the trip out way back in Hanoi.
During the fights we met a group of guys from Saigon Juijitsu who invited the 3 of us to their Monday afternoon practice. They even offered James to coach them since he has his black belt and coaches guys in the states.
The 3 of us visited the war museum which ironically enough used to be called The American War Crimes Museum.
It was a very well done museum compared to the one in Hanoi. The museum up north was more just to highlight the building that it was during the war, The Hanoi Hilton. This museum here in the south was 4 levels and very detailed and gruesome! Pictures of the damage the chemicals had on the Vietnamese and signage telling the graphic stories of individuals who suffered.
It was hard to absorb all that I was seeing without becoming teary eyed looking at photos of victims from chemicals and reading the stories.
The Vietnamese did a good job showing their side of the story, that's for sure! I felt like everyone was going to leave there hating America. The reality, the past is disappointing but we know it's the past and we have moved on. The Vietnamese like Americans. I never felt threatened because of my nationality, being in this country. In all 30 days of my time here.
I saw Echo, one of my sweet China girls from Shanghai and I also met back up with Laura.
She bussed in from Mui Ne the day after me and stayed at my hostel for a night. We went out and explored the city late that night and saw some very beautiful areas of Saigon. The city really started to grow on me that night. Well aside from the rats that I saw EVERYWHERE I looked, scurrying around in the shadows. Gross!
A federal building with the HoChiMin statue in front
I helped Laura do some gift shopping for friends back home in a toasty market space one morning and then after we went to breakfast at a cafe with really good reviews.
It was massive! Also closed to the public for going inside by the time we got there.
Ok... So I need to rant about something now. The amount of public nose picking in this country is SO DISGUSTING!
My last night in Vietnam I finally reached my breaking point!
The Vietnamese just don't give a F*** if you see them picking their nose or where they are in public when they do it! The women aren't generally as bad as the men. And... the majority of men here actually have one finger nail on one of their hands that's just for the purpose of picking their nose and it's a grown out nail for better picking!
While helping Laura shop for knock off Nikes I had to bring to her attention that the guy who ran the store clearly cared more about picking his nose and cleaning out his nail then he cared for making any money off her.
My breaking point was when the girl/ main front desk worker of my hostel who is SUPER touchy picked her nose forever!!! Digging deep and just full on going at it while exchanging my money into another currency. Then she picked it some more and then she came over and sat next to me, leaning on me, trying to playfully tickle me and putting her hand under my shirt on my back and just leaving her hand resting there while she looked over my shoulder at what I was reading. Leaning her body on me in the warm lobby we were sitting in.
I wanted to scream! Get your booger fingers off me and go wash your hands you nasty girl! That is not cute!
She also asked me to walk to dinner with her and another hostel guy but thankfully I wasn't hungry so I politely declined. All I could picture was her sticking her hands in my food! Oh how I hope Cambodians aren't like this!
Oh and...!!! while walking to my hostel, on my street, I noticed a man whose body was submerged to his shoulders in dirty water and he was in between a section of the sidewalk and his head was level with the street.
There was a man kneeling next to him with a basket and it kinda looked like he was pouring water in, on the guy... I noticed stuff floating on the water that at first glance reminded me of grain.
I pointed this out to James and Dee who were walking next to me. I just pointed and thought, why is this guy taking a bath in the gutter like that. He truely looked like he was taking a bath!
When Dee saw this a look of horror came over her face and she looked away! Then the same look crossed James's face and that's when I realized!!! This guy was fully in sewer water and that "grain" floating in the water, wasn't grain!
I wanted a photo but I wanted out of there even worse! James's response as I was only steps from a full sprint, "there must have been a clog somewhere and he was the chosen one!"
Oh Asia! How I sometimes wish you had more western capabilities! I mean seriously!? How mad is that for ones health!?